Short Term Health Insurance In Colorado
Short term health insurance can be a great coverage option for people and families who need to cover gaps in their major medical health insurance coverage, or for those who have limited coverage options. With flexible enrollment and premiums that are often lower than traditional health insurance coverage options, short term policies can be valuable to those facing challenging circumstances.
A March 2018 study by eHealth found that 51 percent of survey participants would have been uninsured if it weren’t for access to short term health insurance policies, and 28 percent ended up using their short term policy to cover necessary medical care.
While finding longer term health insurance continues to be a priority for the majority of consumers, 76 percent of survey participants reported that they were happy with their short term policy, and 58 percent said their short term plan provided coverage for the services they valued most.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) put in place by the Obama Administration included restrictions that limited short term plans to a duration of 90 days. In October 2017, President Trump signed legislation designed to remove those restrictions. Following this executive order, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed new rules for short term health insurance plans that could go into effect as early as July 2018.
At that time, the definition of “short term” would revert to its previous state, meaning plans could still be considered short term up to a duration of 364 days. States would still have the ability to set their own limitations and mandates on short term policies.
For example, Colorado limits short term health insurance plans to six months or less. The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) has not provided any indication of whether it will keep this limit in place when the new HHS rules go into effect.
In a public statement following Trump’s executive order, Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said that 2018 open enrollment would not be impacted by the order, and that further details would be determined based on the final federal rules. Per her statement: “The Division has many questions about what these proposals really mean for Colorado consumers, but we will continue our mission of consumer protection by ensuring that Colorado laws are still followed when possible under this order.”
The Colorado DOI recommends that consumers use caution when selecting a short term health insurance plan. Many short term policies focus on catastrophic protection, providing coverage only for the most severe injuries and illnesses. Some short term insurance policies may not meet the full requirements mandated by the ACA and may cause the purchaser to be subject to additional tax penalties.
Carriers Offering Short Term Policies in Colorado
LifeShield National Insurance Company
National General Accident and Health
The IHC Group (Independence Holding Company)